Aquaponic Gardening

A Community and Forum For Aquaponic Gardeners

Richard Kowalski
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  • Wantagh, NY
  • United States
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Richard Kowalski's Discussions

How to handle Potasium/ Calcium supplimentation when Ph never goes below 7.4

Started this discussion. Last reply by Tom Oliphant Nov 8. 7 Replies

Hello Everyone,This is my 7th year running my Aquaponics system. This is the first time I have run into a problem where the Ph has been hovering between 7.3 - 7.6 for the past 4 weeks. I built a…Continue

Tags: falling, not, Ph

Hanna HI98128 Combo Tester

Started Jun 12, 2016 0 Replies

Hello People,I would just like to pass on an experience I had with my Hanna Ph/Temp tester. I have had it for a little over a year. I store it in storage solution after each use.  The readings…Continue

Tags: Tester, Temperature, Ph, Hanna

Black spots on leaves

Started this discussion. Last reply by George T Jun 18, 2015. 8 Replies

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Tags: Spot, Black

Pak Choy

Started this discussion. Last reply by Richard Kowalski May 28, 2015. 1 Reply

Hello, I am experimenting with growing Pak Choy. Here is a picture of the very first one I have grown in my indoor system. Notice the root of the plant that feeds the head of Pak Choy. …Continue

Tags: Support, Plant, Choy, Pak

 

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Latest Activity

Tom Oliphant replied to Richard Kowalski's discussion How to handle Potasium/ Calcium supplimentation when Ph never goes below 7.4
"Thanks Jeff. I will see how it goes. I am noticing a very gradual lowering in pH as time pases. My real question is which test to believe. The API water test kit that I got from The Aquaponics Source measures pH of my 500 gallon fish tank to be at…"
Nov 8
Jeff S replied to Richard Kowalski's discussion How to handle Potasium/ Calcium supplimentation when Ph never goes below 7.4
"Actually most plants like closer to 6.0. Nutrient take up is hampered by ph as high as you are running. In theory a properly running system will require regular raising of the ph. This is where I use potassium hydroxide and lime which also supplies…"
Nov 5
Tom Oliphant replied to Richard Kowalski's discussion How to handle Potasium/ Calcium supplimentation when Ph never goes below 7.4
"I add about one tablespoon of a micro-nutrient solution (that contains Potassium and Calcium) about once per month. It and Chealated Iron seem to work for me to avoid the yellow tint. I have noticed that an inadequate amount of CO2 will cause what…"
Nov 5
Richard Kowalski replied to Richard Kowalski's discussion How to handle Potasium/ Calcium supplimentation when Ph never goes below 7.4
"Hello Rob, My Nitrate levels always run very high. No matter what I do. I use the API test kit. The Ph problem seems to have fixed itself.  I have been adding M1 Biological but I dont know if it is making any difference. Its September and the…"
Sep 13

Moderator
Rob Tolette replied to Richard Kowalski's discussion How to handle Potasium/ Calcium supplimentation when Ph never goes below 7.4
"Hi Richard, You can try adding a product like Aquaponic Elements into your system.  Among other nutrients, it contains potassium, calcium, and iron. You just add it to your sump tank and it dissolves in over time.  Dropping your pH…"
Sep 11
Jeff S replied to Richard Kowalski's discussion How to handle Potasium/ Calcium supplimentation when Ph never goes below 7.4
"It's been a while since you posted. I'm surprised no one has replied. If your ph is 7.4 it's too high for good plant growth as you probably know. I have a similar problem and similar system. I use muratic acid to lower ph in low…"
Sep 9
Richard Kowalski posted a discussion

How to handle Potasium/ Calcium supplimentation when Ph never goes below 7.4

Hello Everyone,This is my 7th year running my Aquaponics system. This is the first time I have run into a problem where the Ph has been hovering between 7.3 - 7.6 for the past 4 weeks. I built a hybrid system that consists  of a 300 gal fish tank. The fish tank has 80 Tilapia fingerlings. The system also has 3 Deep Water Culture  bins where I grow lettuce and 2 grow beds with hydroton growing Bok Choy, Peppers, Cuccumbers, Tomato's, Basil. The entire system is in a hoop house that gets shut…See More
May 17
Richard Kowalski posted a discussion

Hanna HI98128 Combo Tester

Hello People,I would just like to pass on an experience I had with my Hanna Ph/Temp tester. I have had it for a little over a year. I store it in storage solution after each use.  The readings started drifting and would not stablize when I was using it. I  tried recalibrating the meter and it did the same thing. I contacted Hanna and they said replace the probe. In a last ditch effort I decided to take a toothbrush with some dish washing liquid and gentley brush the probe. I rinsed it off ,…See More
Jun 12, 2016
Richard Kowalski posted a video

Aquaponics 2016

02:25
Beginning of the third season. Wantagh Aquaponics is in the North East. Raising Blue Tilapia. The fish over winter indoors because I have not found an economical way to keep the greenhouse fish tank warm. The system continues to evolve. The…
May 17, 2016
Richard Kowalski replied to Scott Mooney's discussion Seeding Direct to Grow Media?
"Scott, It has been my experience that small seeds directly sowed into hydroton get washed down with the Flood/Drain cycle. I use rockwool to put the little seeds into. You can put the rockwool directly into the hydroton buried about 1/2 way so that…"
Mar 10, 2016
Don Cole left a comment for Richard Kowalski
"Oh sorry, the fish tanks are a total of 900 gallons."
Feb 10, 2016
Don Cole left a comment for Richard Kowalski
"Richard, Here is a write up on how it works. I hope it helps. Let me know if you have any questions. Parts list: Ecotemp L5 instant hot water kit: It comes with a 12vdc pump, heater unit and, strainer 55 gallon barrel 12vdc power supply Dwyer TSW…"
Feb 10, 2016
Richard Kowalski replied to James H Clanton's discussion How I built a gas water heater for the pond.
"Thanks for the update James. I am going to set up a closed loop system with a portable on demand water heater. I am going to use 50 gallon closed drum as the water reservoir and 100ft of stainless steel coiled tubing as the heat exchanger for the…"
Feb 10, 2016
Richard Kowalski replied to James H Clanton's discussion How I built a gas water heater for the pond.
"Don, I read your replys about building an on demand water heater. I live in the northeast and I have been searching for a solution to my problem of heating the greenhouse and heating the fish tank water in an economical way. Could you send me a…"
Feb 9, 2016
Evergreen_AP replied to Richard Kowalski's discussion Raising Carbonates without raising PH
"Hello Vlad - I'm also trying to lean more about this, just a year+ removed from this conversation.  I was curious if your trip to CO shed any light or if you still believe your following statements?:"
Jan 19, 2016
Richard Kowalski joined Bob Campbell's group
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Microbiology

Study of microscopic organisms, biochemistry research,  and the use of microscopes in gardening.See More
Jun 29, 2015

Profile Information

How did you find us?
Search engine (Google)
If you found us through a search engine, what search words were you using?
Aquaponics
Are you an aquaponic gardener already?
Yes
If so, what type of system? (pick all that apply)
flood and drain media
How old is your system?
6 mos - 1 yr
What type of fish do you grow with? (select all that apply)
Goldfish, Tilapia
How big is your fish tank?
300 Gallon
Name a part of a fish (spam blocking question)
Gil
Please tell us something else about yourself.
I have kept a conventional garden for many years. I wanted to try something that would produce more with less work. After my first season of growing in aquaponics, I must say I am a believer! A 3x6 and a 3x4 grow bed produced more vegetables and less work than I was able to grow in my conventional garden over the last 5 years combined! The plants in aquaponics are 3 times the size and produce much more!

Richard Kowalski's Blog

Time to Start Outdoor System March/April 2015

Posted on April 2, 2015 at 7:34pm 0 Comments

Its the end of March, the weather is starting to warm up (40F instead of 20F) and its time to get the greenhouse back up and running.

This year I am going to add DWC bins to the system to grow my green leafy vegetables. In order to do this I have to cover the sump tank with a floor and build a table on it where the DWC will sit. There are 3 bins with 8 cut outs each to support 3" net pots. I am starting everything from seed. I am using rock wool as the medium to grow the plants in.…

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February Update of Indoor System

Posted on February 23, 2015 at 8:36pm 0 Comments

So here it is, the end of February. I still have the same issues with my plants. The main reason why I built this indoor…

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January 2015 Indoor Aquaponics System

Posted on January 18, 2015 at 1:01pm 1 Comment

My growing season ended in October when we had a cold snap and my plants were wiped out. My tilapia were not at a harvestable size yet and the water temperature dropped to 58F. 

I built a indoor Aquaponics System based around a 100 Gallon Cattle Trough. I had very little space in my basement, so the entire…

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Trials and Tribulations of getting a Flood and Drain System Up and Running

Posted on April 13, 2014 at 12:45pm 4 Comments

Well, It took me a while to get the greenhouse built and the grow beds built. In the beginning of April, I finally finished the plumbing of my system.

It consists of a 300 Gallon fish tank, a 150 Gallon sump tank, a 3X6 and a 3X4 grow bed, a Bio Filter and a Radial Flow filter. I am using…

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At 7:57am on February 10, 2016, Don Cole said…

Oh sorry, the fish tanks are a total of 900 gallons.

At 7:55am on February 10, 2016, Don Cole said…

Richard,

Here is a write up on how it works. I hope it helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

Parts list:

Ecotemp L5 instant hot water kit: It comes with a 12vdc pump, heater unit and, strainer

55 gallon barrel

12vdc power supply

Dwyer TSW 160 or TSW 250 temperature controller.

100’ roll of 1/5” PEX tubing

6’ of dishwasher drain hose

Two ½” valves to isolate the PEX heat exchanger

Misc. hose fittings

The Ecotemp L5 is a 5 liter per minute water heater that uses propane from a standard BBQ grill tank. It starts heating when water flow is detected. I used the Dwyer temp controller to start and start the pump at the desired temp. The PEX tubing is a thin wall tubing that is rated for residential hot water distribution. It doesn’t have the same heat transfer as a stainless steel coil but is way cheaper and easier to get. I used the barrel as a reservoir for the heater and circulated the water through the heater, PEX and, back to the barrel. I think this helped with the heating because as the water in the barrel warmed up the heater output temp increased. This in turn allowed more heat to be transferred to the fish tank through the PEX.

The system works perfectly and was able to raise the temp of the three fish tanks from 57 degrees to 70 degrees in about 5 hours. It has easily maintained 73 degrees in the fish tanks when the greenhouse temp was in the high 30’s. I built mine on a two wheeled dolly so when not in use I could store it out of the way. It uses a standard 5 gallon propane tank per day when the temp is in the 30’s. My fish tanks are not insulated and the greenhouse is not heated yet. I think if they were I could probably get two days per tank. I also have the temp set a little high and could probably gain a half a day by lowering it to 65 degrees.

This whole system cost about $300.00. The only thing I didn’t have to buy was the barrel.

Don

 
 
 

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